How our excellent agricultural extension system of the Sixties was sacrificed.
Posted on January 31st, 2024

By Garvin Karunaratne  former G.A. Matara

It is time to stop political bickering and take action before we totally fail in agriculture and millions face death due to the lack of food. 

In view of the attempts by our President to boost our agriculture, it may be worthwhile to ascertain what did happen to the excellent agricultural extension service we had in the Sixties- the effort of the combined Agriculture Department and Agrarian Services. 

I enclose a chapter from my forthcoming publication: NuwaraKalaviya which details what happened.. 

I was stunned  to read  a news item stating that  youths from schools in. Anuradhapura are very likely to be the cannon fodder for renal disease. Students in grades 10 to 12 in the North Central Province are prone to contact renal diseases…earlier it was people in the 30s and 40s.”(Daily Mirror (12/4) 

My mind lingered to the 25,000 farmers of the North Central Province who have succumbed to the CDKu- the Kidney Disease.  Some of them may have been the young farmers with whom I worked in the 296 cultivation committees I set up in 1962. Then there was a hive of activity- discussions and arguments  going on for hours at times till late at night-the thrust of it was to use high yielding varieties and supplement with fertilizer. This was accomplished.  

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